Monday, March 21, 2016

Waste Not, Want Not...

Have you ever been at the grocery store, looking for shredded cabbage, and not being able to find it? It's not just me, right? I didn't need a whole head, just a couple of cups, and my usual grocery store didn't have any pre-shredded, even though I KNOW that they usually carry it. Anyway, I was annoyed, but not annoyed enough (or desperate enough) to buy a whole head of cabbage, so I searched the packaged salads, and there it was: napa cabbage salad kit. The only problem was that I didn't need the "extras": the salad dressing and the crispy chow mein noodles and almonds, but I'd figure something out. I ran home, happy that I found at least a substitute for what I was looking for, Is it weird that I get this worked up over grocery items? Don't answer that...I know the answer already! :-)

I can't even remember the recipe I was making that required the cabbage, but I do remember those stupid chow mein noodles and how they hung out in the kitchen for an annoyingly long time, but I couldn't just throw them away. I was raised to not waste food. You know, being made to sit at the table until all of your food was gone and all that. Our family knew what leftovers were and ate them regularly. As a matter of fact, my mom made big pots of soup, COUNTING on the fact that we would eat it over three days. Planned leftovers before it was a thing, people.

The offending chow mein noodles, just sitting there,mocking me:

So, I had these chow mein noodles, really just a cupful, but I couldn't just toss them out. One night, I had a craving for sweets (who am I kidding, I crave sweets every night), and remembered my friend's haystacks candies. It's really just melted butterscotch chips, stirred with chow mein noodles. I think she puts mini marshmallows in there, too...or maybe that was my grandma, but either way, they are good! I happened to have about 1/4 cup of butterscotch chips, and it wasn't enough to mix with the chow mein noodles, but it got me started on a bit of a Frankenstein experiment to make chocolate-butterscotch-dried fruit-chow mein noodle haystacks. Sounds monstrous, but they were really good! I really just melted the chips together, then started adding stuff until it looked like everything would hold together.

I melted the chocolate and butterscotch chips using the microwave (low power, a couple of minutes, stirring and heating until everything is melted and smooth). I think I had about 2/3 cup melted all together. And yes, some of those golden raisins made it in the mix, too.

In go the noodles, but there was too much chocolate, so I started adding more stuff...


Cornflakes (Don't mock. Nigella Lawson does it):

Keep stirring until everything has a good chocolate coating on it so that it will stick together into little mounds. I used two spoons to scoop and shape everything. The hardest part was waiting until the chocolate hardened, but it didn't take too long, maybe 20 minutes or so.

 This particular "recipe" made about 9 good-sized mounds,so adjust accordingly if you want to make more or less. If you are inspired to experiment with this, let me know what combinations you come up with!

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